- America has a classic breed of horses, the Justin Morgan, which took its name from its owner, Justin Morgan (1747-1789), a Vermont schoolteacher. This horse, a thoroughbred stallion that was probably a blend of Arabian and some other elements, was purchased in Massachusetts and named Figure. Morgan trained Figure and the horse won many contests, even against larger thoroughbreds. The owner then decided to change the horse's name to his name, and presto—Justin Morgan. It thereafter became the founding sire of a whole breed of horses. The horse was small, about 800 pounds and fourteen hands high, had a short neck and a delicate head. After the owner's death, the horse was sold many times, but its distinctive breed continued until the strain died out. It became America's favorite saddle and trotting horse, until the Hambletonian strain replaced it as a trotter. But Justin Morgan will long be remembered as the only American horse to sire a distinctive breed.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.
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